*This is an open continuous announcement. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and qualified candidates will be considered until the position has been filled. Applications will remain on file until October 31, 2023 or until the position is filled. This Peer Specialist position may only be filled with a Veteran that meets statutory requirements that are detailed in the qualifications section. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 10/31/2023. Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-07 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-06. For a GS-08 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-07. For a GS-09 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-08.The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade. Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SPECIALISTS a. Statutory Requirements. Section 405 of Public Law 110-387, as codified in 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13), established that to be eligible to receive appointment to a Peer Specialist position, a person must: (1) be a veteran who has recovered or is recovering from a mental health condition; and(2) be certified by -(a) a not-for-profit entity engaged in peer specialist training as having met such criteria as the Secretary shall establish for a peer specialist position; or(b) a State as having satisfied relevant State requirements for a peer specialist position. b. Length of Experience as a Consumer of Mental Health Recovery Services. Veterans eligible under 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13) must have spent a minimum of 1 year in personal recovery from a mental health condition. NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your DD-214 and Peer Specialist Certification, with your application package. ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), No person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English. You must be proficient in basic written and spoken English in order to meet the requirements of this position. MINIMUM GRADE LEVEL QUALIFICATIONS GS-7: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one (1) year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level, routine work has been completed with minimal supervisory oversight and review, however close supervision will have been provided for complex and unusual tasks. GS-8: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one (1) year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level you have the ability to work with general instructions for the performance of routine duties and detailed instructions and/or training in performance of the non-routine functions and special assignments. Non-routine/novel work will have been reviewed by spot checking and after completion to evaluate the adequacy of methods, procedures, results, ability to solve new and changing problems, etc. GS-9: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one (1) year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level work will have been performed with considerable independence and you are responsible for making recommendations to the interdisciplinary treatment team that can be relied on for soundness of judgment and maturity of insight on problem situations. -OR- EDUCATION SUBSTITUTION: (Transcripts are required with your application package) GS-7: Successful completion One (1) full year of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-7. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. GS-8: Successful completion One and one/half (1 ) years of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-8. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. GS-9: Successful completion Two (2) full years of graduate education or a master's degree meets the requirements for GS-9. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: Accountability Customer Service Flexibility Information Management Interpersonal Skills Organizational Awareness Technology Management Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment. Physical Requirements: The applicant must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the applicant or others. The work is primarily sedentary. Typically, the employee sits to do the work. There may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items (such as books, papers), and accessing transportation. The work may require occasional use of Department of Veteran's Affairs approved behavioral management techniques with Veterans who present a danger to self or others. Veterans demonstrate varying levels of wellness, recovery, and symptoms. This position must be equipped to be flexible and accept that work areas are often noisy, irregular, unpredictable, and stressful. Work is performed in a wide range of settings, including the Medical Center, group or family homes, community-based outpatient settings, community organizations, or in transport vehicles (public or government). Reference: VA Regulations, specifically VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix F-3 Peer Support Apprentice/Peer Specialist Qualification Standard. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office. ["The Peer Specialist functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program. Peer specialists perform a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting Veterans in articulating their goals for recovery and personal wellness, learning, and practicing new skills, helping them monitor their progress, assisting them in their treatment, modeling effective coping techniques and self-help strategies based on the peer specialist's own recovery experience, and supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services. Duties include, but not limited to the following: Participates in the service, training, consultation, and other professional activities of VA health care services and functions as a fully vested member of the multidisciplinary team. Uses personal recovery experiences to model coping techniques and recovery tolls to coach Veterans to relevant skills need for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. Observes behaviors that might indicate difficulty adapting or responding to treatment (e.g., missed assessment appointments, failure to attend or maintain abstinence, risk to self or others, disruptive behavior), completes appropriate documentation, and reports concerns to the treatment team in a timely manner. Uses ongoing individual and group meetings to teach Veterans how to identify and combat negative self-talk and overcome fears by providing a forum that allows Veteran to share their experiences. As necessary, handles crisis interventions for Veterans and addresses other emergent situations without the benefit of specific instructions. Informs Veterans about VA and community supports and resources, including how to effectively utilize them in the recovery and wellness process. Maintains a working knowledge of current trends and developments in holistic approaches in wellness and recovery by reading books, journals, and other relevant materials. Performs other related duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 7:30am - 4:00pm Telework: VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process. Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD99697S, PD99701S, and PD99702S Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Promotion Potential: This position involves a multi-grade career ladder. The selectee may be promoted to the full performance level without further competition when all regulatory, qualification, and performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level."]
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. The VA Martinsburg Healthcare System offers a wide range of health, support, and facility services for Veterans at 8 locations serving western Maryland, south-central Pennsylvania, northwest Virginia, and West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Primary Care services are offered at the following locations. Martinsburg WV, Hagerstown MD, Cumberland MD, Franklin WV, Harrisonburg VA, Petersburg WV and Winchester VA.
OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.
Physicians interested in caring for our America's Veterans and their families, email Nicole.Carey@va.gov or call 304-620-4354.